ARTISTIC DIGITIZER PART 6: Dealing with Overlap

An embroidery design is created from many elements.  Those elements look best when the under laying stitches do not bleed through or create a bump in the top layer of stitches.  To accomplish this we need to remove over-lap elements.  Artistic Digitizer has a tool to aid us in this design issue.

Building an embroidery design is like creating a puzzle.  The elements can interconnect to create a smooth design.  A space is created in one element where another element can ‘plug into’ the space.  Just like the pieces of a jigsaw puzzle, it all fits together to create an overall design.

Below you can see design we created to look like a blue moon with a bright evening star.  The elements were created using the shape tools and decorative stitches assigned to each element.  We also added decorative stitches to the star edge.

moon and star.jpg

Since the design elements are open space stitches, we really don’t want the under laying stitches to bleed through and show on the top stitches.  Artistic Digitizer recognizes that this over-lap of stitches can be an issue.  There is an automatic function that will remove these under laying stitches.

Click on the top shape with the selection tool. slection tool  In the properties box at the right side of the screen, under the fill heading, you can see there is a menu at the bottom of the screen that says ‘remove over laps’.  The default for the program is set to automatically remove the overlap as you draw your shapes.

remove overlap

There is a drop down menu under this remove overlaps heading so you can change the setting if you wish.

overlap optionsmenu

Sometimes you may not want to remove the overlap.  Under laying stitches could actually help support top stitches that are completely encompassed inside a shape.  The choice is always yours to make.

You can easily see the over-lap removal in the sequence box when viewing the design in the manual mode instead of the auto mode.

removed overlap sequence

This is just another great way that the Artistic Digitizer does the thinking for us as we design.  This makes the process quick and easy.


Posted in Artistic Digitizer embroidery software | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Janome at African Fashion Week Toronto

If you regularly follow Janome Life, and we certainly hope that you do, as promised I’m back to report on the fabulous time I had as a judge for the Student Design Competition of African Fashion Week Toronto 2018, which took place August 30 – Sept 2, 2018.



There were 7 participants and the top 3 were awarded prizes including sewing machines courtesy of Janome.

It was such a treat for me to be in the judge’s seat this time, as, many years ago, I was in the student’s position when I competed in various design competitions while I studied Fashion Design in college. I thought judging would be an easier position, but definitely it was not! The following photos will show what I mean. The student designers did an amazing job!

First tough decision though – WHAT WILL I WEAR!?lol!  A special event such as this needed something extra-special to wear, especially since I was representing Janome. Though I couldn’t find them in red, I thought these shoes were pretty sweet!


Have any of you sewn with the mermaid sequins which change colour when you swipe them a different way? What fun! (They’re actually black one way and silver the other but they were picking up the colour of the title floor so they look a little grey)

Our fabulous host for the evening was prolific Stylist Ann-Marie Daniel-Barker looking oh, so chic herself. She definitely knows how to work a room. What FUN we had!


My fellow judges, Image Consultant/Stylist Brenda Foreman and Hussain Al Beer of Yaser & Mayasa Co. fabrics (who donated some of the fabrics used in the competition) were equally as chic and such a delight to meet.


Brenda and I had to laugh when we met. No, we did not plan to wear coordinating outfits! lol!

Hussain shared with me that his great-grandfather started Yaser & Mayasa in 1920, which is just one year before Janome was founded in 1921. Its comforting to me that as so many companies have come and gone in this industry over the last almost one hundred years, both of ours are still going strong! Yes, I’m biased, Janome fans are the BEST!


Each of the student designers showed a collection of 7 looks which had to adhere to certain design criteria and guidelines, including the ever-important marketing and wear ability/ saleability of the garments. After-all, they’re working towards a career, building a brand and making a living in the fashion industry.


The above photo is of designer Ruby Babaya’s label Vibe The People. Below is a piece from Kassandra Casarin – KJAC. (sorry, my photos are a little blurry as I was off to the side from the media and the models didn’t stand still for long, lol!)


Eugenie Amegah’s collection for her label Nykwale (photo below) was voted First Place and, among other prizes, was the recipient of the fabulous Janome 1600P-QC.



Designer Yanis Allen took Second Place and was awarded the Janome Four DLB serger. I didn’t get to inspect the clothes close-up so I’m not sure which hem finish Yanis chose for this chiffon-type overdress, but a rolled hem done on the serger would be a quick, beautiful finish.

Emefa Kuadey’s label Israella Kobla took Third Place so received the Janome MyStyle 100


Theresa Aning showed a collection of dresses (photo below), versus mix-and-match separates. I loved the diversity of the student designers, though, that’s also what made judging a tough choice. However, as host Ann-Marie expressed, the fact that they made it that far; had worked so, SEW hard; were presenting their collections in front of the media and a room full of industry professionals, they were ALL winners!


Below is a photo of Jennel Reid’s collection for her label Topaz Couture Designs. I was so happy to see that a few of the designers didn’t forget us guys and included menswear in their collections. (sorry again for my grainy photos)

Check out the #afwt 2018 Instagram page for more photos.



The designers and models definitely deserved a round of applause, as did all the organizers, volunteers and everyone who helped make it such a fun, fabulous night!

There’s a terrific video posted on You Tube, including interviews with some of the AFWT 2018 student designers.

After seeing all that, I hope you are now SEW inspired to create something special to wear for yourself or someone special in your life! What will you make with your Janome machines today?

Posted in Janome Sewing Machine | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Janome Foot of the Month: Pintuck Foot

It’s time for the next installment in our Foot of the Month series, and this month we are going to talk about the Pintuck foot. Have you looked longingly at a beautiful blouse in a shop, or at a bag, thinking ‘I could make that’, and then discovered it had pintucks? I’ve done that, and I’ve usually dropped the thought as fast as it came into my head. Making pintucks in a traditional form are a bit scary. All that pressing, edge stitching, keeping it straight….there must be a better way……… But wait, there is!!  The pintuck feet from Janome are amazing! And you can do so many neat things with them.


I started off with wanting to create an accent panel for a little bag that I am making, so I laid out some marking lines just as a reference point. This is important, because if your first line of pin tucking is crooked, all subsequent lines will also be crooked. I also recommend to have the approximate end dimensions of your pattern piece in mind, but do not cut it to the final dimensions until your pin tucking is complete.

So are you ready to try it? Let’s go.

First thing is to attach the foot onto your machine, which is super easy to do with the drop off feet system on most Janome models. Jnaome has TWO pin tuck feet: the N1 or wide 7 groove pin tuck foot and wide N2 foot with 9 grooves. Thse are available for both 7mm and 9mm wide stitch models in our Janome line of machines.

Next, switch out your single needle to the twin needle: You should have one in the needle pack that came with your machine. Don’t worry if you have never used it! After today, you will be reaching for it more often.

After you place your twin needle in securely and all the way up, you’ll need an additional spool of thread (or an extra wound bobbin) and a spool pin. If you don’t have the thread stand that complements your machine, don’t worry. There will be an additional spool pin amongst your standard accessories which came with your machine. Please have a look also at your manual for more instructions on attaching this extra spool pin. Once it’s in place, thread both needles of the twin needle, one at a time so the threads don’t get twisted in the tension discs of the threading process. Do NOT try to use the built-in needle threader for a twin needle. It will not work.

If you have the twin needle safety feature on your model, be sure to seelct this function as it will automatcially decrease the width of some stitches so that you do not break a needle or damage your foot or needle plate.  If your machine has a Sewing Applications Menu,  pick the “pintuck” option. This makes things even easier for you.

Now we are all set up for sewing. Place your fabric under the presser foot, and pull the thread tails to the back. Begin sewing, slowly at first, maintaining contact with your first marking line to ensure straight stitching. Go all the way to the end of the fabric, and then remove it from the machine. If you flip it over, you will see that the bobbin thread has pulled the two needle threads together, making a narrow fold of fabric between them.


To create multiple rows, there are channels or grooves on the bottom of the foot to guide the next row of pintucking. You can place the previously stitched pintuck right beside the next stitching line, or move it over to the very edge. There are no rules in pintuck placement! Close together or wider apart is your choice. Once you have your next row  decided, repeat the sewing steps. After a few rows have been stitched you will see beautiful pintucks, that didn’t require pressing or fussing!

I usually like to include a video with words to describe the technique, but I have a terrible cold. So the video for this post will have no words but some text for you. Enjoy!




Posted in Janome Foot of the month series | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Using the Cloth Guide on the Janome MC9400

Janome artisan

Whether you are a quilter or a garment sewist you need to sew an accurate seam width. There are various methods that stitchers use to stitch exactly a certain distance from the needle: masking tape on the bed of their sewing machine, a stack of post-it notes to use as a guide are just two examples. If you own a Janome MC9400, you’re in luck because there is an easier way to do this. Let me explain:

The Janome MC9400 comes with a cloth guide that will take the place of any of these solutions and ensure that you get an accurate seam as you stitch along. This accessory is included when you buy the machine, but I know that some sewists aren’t really sure what it is! It’s what you can use to stitch your desired seam width!

Janome MC9400 Cloth Guide - OffThe cloth guide can be set to whatever distance you want from the needle to keep an even seam width. For quilters, this is a 1/4″ seam; for garment sewists, it is typically 5/8″ seam. If you are a quilter and struggle to use the edge of your HP foot to get a perfect ¼” seam (a method I’ve found ideal when piecing!), you can use the HP foot, HP needle plate and the cloth guide for the best of all worlds.

Janome MC9400 Cloth Guide - Cloth

The cloth guide is very easy to attach to the Janome MC9400. It snaps into place on the machine bed and can be moved closer or further away from the needle, depending on the width of the seam you want to stitch.

Janome MC9400 Cloth Guide - OnAnother way that I think the cloth guide would be really helpful would be when you want to stitch several rows of decorative stitches on a garment. You could use the cloth guide to stitch the first line of decorative stitches and then adjust it to where you want subsequent stitching to be.

For more information and a video on how to attach it to the bed of the Janome MC9400, go to my YouTube channel.

Janome MC9400 cloth guide

Refer to page 26 in your Janome MC9400 manual for information on the cloth guide.

For more information on the Janome MC9400 sewing machine and other quilting tips, visit my Chatterbox Quilts’ YouTube channel.

Happy stitching from Kim Jamieson-Hirst, a Janome Canada Artisan in Calgary, AB.




Posted in Janome Horizon MC 9400 QMP | Tagged , | Leave a comment

GLAD YOU ASKED THAT: How should I take care of my serger?


I wonder if you might be as guilty as me when it comes to the proper care & cleaning of your serger? I wondered quite a few months back why my serger was no longer such a happy camper and was “chomping” my fabric edge instead of cutting it cleanly. I assumed that my blade was dull so I replaced my upper blade with a new one. OK……good, but sadly that did not solve the whole problem. It was a bit better but still “chomping”. So my next thought was that maybe the lower blade needed to be replaced as well? Actually no. My local Janome dealer serviced the serger for me and did not end up replacing my lower blade. He said it was still good (which is impressive as I have been using that serger A LOT for almost 10 years!) No, apparently I was the naughty girl who had not been keeping her serger cleaned and oiled properly enough and my lower blade had seized up with lint & “gunk” and was barely functioning. Lesson learned……proper housekeeping is SO important.

So the question begs to be asked: How do I care for and clean my serger? 

It is obviously all important to show some care and attention to your serger to have it keep working for you the way you have come to expect and love. It needs to be cleaned and oiled regularly. This is even more important with sergers as the cutting of the fabric edge creates a lot more lint ….the fluff that collects is worse than the dust bunnies under my sofa – Really! 

The top brush is what comes with many of our machines. Do yourself a favour and purchase a more effective one – bottom one in the pic as it makes a world of difference.

Try to make it a firm habit to dust off and clean out your serger after completing each serger project.  Use your lint brush. The one that comes with the serger is OK but I prefer a larger one as its gets further into the spots that the smaller one does not necessarily reach. (see pic above). Resist using those canned air products as all you may do is force the lint further into the recesses of your serger where you probably will not be able to reach.


Removing the needle plate

Remove needle plate and clean well with a good size brush.

About once a quarter, we suggest you do a bigger clean up:  remove the stitch plate or needle plate and clean out the lint that builds up under that and on your feed dogs.  Follow the instructions in your manual for how to remove the needle plate on your particular model or ask your local dealer to show you how to do this.

Clean the cutting knife – now this is where I think I came undone!

Lower the blade. Consult your manual or your dealer if you are not sure about how to do this although you should know if you took your owner;s classes as we tell you often! Once the upper blade is lowered, it lets you get in to clean between the upper and lower blades – the part that gets a lot of action! This is apparently the part I missed and learned to my detriment how crucial it is. I had been oiling well but somehow the oil mixed with the lint and “glued” my lower blade so it stuck. Not good.

Remember to raise the upper blade back up into cutting position once you have done all your “housekeeping”.

Yellow arrow points to upper blade. Orange arrow points to lower blade….and yes I need to get my brush busy cleaning away all that lint!

Oiling a serger:

You would not drive your car for many years without oiling and so it is with your serger (and sewing machine). It may eventually seize if you don’t oil it.

  1. Check with your dealer what is the best/correct oil for a serger. There should have been a little bottle that came with your serger but once you use that up, do check with your dealer to ensure you buy the correct product.
  2. If you oil too much and/or too often, that is as bad as too little/never. The oil will attract all the fluff like a magnet and grime will build up pretty quick in just the part of your serger which is doing the most work. So do avoid this.
  3. If you hardly ever use your serger, the oil will dry up faster than if you use your serger regularly. Think about it this way: if you park your car outside your house but only get into it and drive once every 2 -3 years, would you expect it to work well for you? I don’t think so.  So, if you last used your serger several years ago, it is time to oil.
  4. If you serge regularly like I do, oiling after each major cleaning would be wise.
  5. There are only two points that need oil on most sergers:  and both are on the looper shaft. If in doubt, look at the diagram located on the machine. and note the arrow in our pic below.

Arrows show where to oil your serger. Your serger may be slightly different to this one so check with your dealer where your oiling points are.


Changing Needles

I think we are all guilty of forgetting to change out our sewing machine needles. Probably even more so with our sergers?

  • Check with your manual and/or your local Jnaome dealer to establish what is the correct needle type for your serger. Some of our sergers require a EL needle (which is elongated as the EL suggests). It is essential you use these as the looper threads may not get picked up if the needles are too short. This causes skipped stitches and you wont be happy with that.
  • The size and type of needle is usually determined by your project needs. The smallest size needle you should use in a serger is size 70. This is because you need a sturdy needle in a serger which sews very fast and could deflect and break easily if too small a needle.
  • On the other side of the coin, dont use  aneedle larger than a size 90 as you may affect the clearance between the loopers and that could lead to problems. Size 80 is probably about right for most projects.
  • Change your needles about once  a month depending on how much serging you do. Serger needles do last a little longer than sewing machine needles – as a general rule.
  • Do not serger with bent needles. Change those right away.

Regular Service

Back to the anology of your car: you would regularly take your car to the shop to be serviced – especially if the car is sounding different or not operating the way you expect. Same with a serger: if you keep breaking needles, get skipped stitches or ride over a pin with your cutting blade, then it is probably time to take it to your local Janome dealer to be serviced. We recommend at least once a year is the general rule for a service at your dealer – with you doing regular “housekeeping” in between.

And BTW, the best thing I ever did with my serging was to stop using pins altogether. I had too many near misses or collisions with my blade. But since I started using Clover clips for all my serging, I am one happy camper. Less nerve wracking and so easy.

Our wonderful NEW Air Thread serger – the AT2000D should be arriving soon at your local participating Janome dealer. We will also be offering “Dynamic Duo” serger presentations across Canada this Fall so check with your dealer when we may be coming to a store near you. Come and discover why we are all SEW excited.






Posted in JANOME SERGERS | Tagged , , , | 3 Comments

Spotlight on our Janome Dealer “Sew and Save Centre” in Stratford, Ontario

For those who’ve not visited Southern Ontario, Stratford is a cute, friendly small city with a small-town feel. It’s a beautiful drive and there’s always lots going on. Sure, we’ve all likely heard of the very popular annual Stratford Festival, but for me, my favourite place to visit, of course, is “Sew and Save Centre“, a second-generation Janome dealership which is right in the heart of downtown. IMG_0953

As one of Janome’s Top Dealers in Canada, Mark Phillips and his sweet sister, Karen, literary grew up with the brand as their parents were one of the first Janome dealers in Canada when Janome entered the Canadian market over 40 years ago.

Though the store is not especially large, there’s lots to look at with lots of information and inspiration to be had; lots of great service, and lots of gorgeous Janome machines to test drive.

I LOVE these circular tables which spin around like a big lazy Susan. Oh, I could SEW use this set-up in my sewing room!



As Janome’s largest dealer in Southwest Ontario, Sew and Save Centre has a machine for everyone! Though I really do love all Janome machines for their various reasons, below is the amazing Janome Memory Craft 6700P, one of my all-time favourites. In addition to it’s industrial look, 10 inches of throat space and superior LED lighting, I love how FAST it is. 1200 stitches per minute!

IMG_0954 (1)

Something which definitely caught my eye in the store was the very cool, sleek and stylish new Janome HD 3000BE. It’s another of my favourite machines at the moment as I spent a lot of time sewing with it recently at a quilting retreat. It’s a special Black Edition of the Janome HD 3000 which has been in the product line for some time. HD stands for Heavy Duty and boy, did it deliver! I’ve written several blog posts about the Janome HD 3000BE so be sure to check them out for more information about this fantastic machine and the fun, functional projects I made with it.


Ever wonder what’s behind all that sleek and shiny plastic?


ALL Janome machines; sewing machines and sergers alike, start with a solid cast aluminum frame. Each model of machine, from beginner entry level all the way up to the advanced Top-of-the-Line,  has a metal skeleton upon which the rest of the machine is built. Janome is definitely built to last!

Helping those machines to last is Dempsey, who heads up the service side of things. Bless him for doing so as these are not the kind of service/ repairs we EVER want to see a consumer do! lol! The collective years of knowledge and experience at the Sew and Save Centre means everyone who walks in the door is very well taken care of, indeed. Another reason I love visiting this store.


During this visit I was doing a full a day of presentations, or sharing the Janome Love as I say.


There is a lot of love and a lot of fun at the Sew and Save Centre, and part of that is due to that sweet, feisty woman on the right. She’s Mark and Karen’s mom, Delores Phillips. Though she no longer has day-to-day responsibilities in running the store, Delores is still a driving presence hosting clubs and classes.

I love looking at Delores’ beautiful quilting and embroidery projects in the store, and this last visit she shared with me her first embroidery project on one of the first Janome embroidery machines on the market. SEW sweet and beautiful, just like Delores herself.



And, since every Queen needs a throne, this is hers. I LOVE IT! I want to do this for my own sewing chair, too! lol!



Thank you, Delores, Mark, Karen, Dempsey and all the fabulous ladies who came out to share the Janome love! I can’t wait to return!

Posted in SPOTLIGHT ON JANOME DEALER | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments


Did you see our Janomelife post on Wednesday this week –  5th September? If not check it out.

Here is the photo tutorial of how to make this baggie:

Cut your baggie fabric and batting to your desired size. I made mine about 10×8 inches. You will need 2 little sandwiches that size: outer bag fabric, batting and lining. I left mine as one piece (10 x 16 inches), quilted it and then cut it in half. I used the Serpentine stitch on the Janome MC15000 Quilt Maker + the Acufeed flex dual prong foot to quilt the bag layers. Quick and easy with rows approx an inch and a half apart.

Prepare the zipper:


  1. Cut a strip of fabric about 1.5 x 3-4 inches long. pic #1


  2. Press in half lengthwise Pic #2 and then press the 2 long edges in again so that all raw edges are tucked away inside.
  3. Now measure the length of your baggie opening. If it is 10 inches, you will need a longer zipper than 10 inches. You will be cutting some of the zipper off.

    Pic #3 Looks like I need to clean my cutting mat!

  4. Cut off the end of the zipper/metal staple which stops the zipper. Pic#3.Don’t pull the zipper open!


  5. Take your folded and pressed zipper tab fabric and tuck the cut end of the zipper between the folds. Pic#4. Sew a straight stitch or zig-zag stitch across the tab. This essentially becomes the new “staple” holding the end of the zipper closed. Trim the excess fabric off so that the tab is flush with the edges of the zipper tape.Pic #5a & 5b

Pic #5a

Pic 5b

6. Add another fabric tab to the other end of the zipper, sew and trim the fabric excess off the sides of the tab.Make sure that the completed zipper with tabs is 1 inch shorter than the baggie. Pic 5b

7. Sew the zipper face down onto the 2 top edges of the baggie so  that about 1/2 inch of the baggie sticks our beyond both ends of the zipper. Use a zipper foot or use a regular sewing foot and move your needle position closer to the zipper teeth. I prefer a zipper foot. Pic #6.


8. Fold the zipper over and top stitch so that it lies flatter. pic #7.  If your machine has the HP foot and plate, you can use this fabulous system as it works really well for top stitching. (not shown)  Do the same for the other side of the zipper: attach zipper to other half of the bag. Zipper face down to right side of back, zipper half an inch in from both sides. Stop and move the zipper pull if necessary. Top stitch again.

Pic #7

8. Now open the zipper and sew your side seams as well as along the bottom of the bag. ie all 3 sides. Neaten seams with your preferred method: zig-zag? serger? overcasting stitch? Pic #8  I used an overcasting stitch. I used black thread merely for photographic reasons. I would have otherwise matched the thread colour to the grey of the lining fabric.

Pic #8

9. Flatten out the bottom corners of the bag and sew across to create a “box bottom” shape to the bag. Cut off or leave the “bunny ears”.  Pic #9. And ensure the seam is facing he same way…unlike mine! Good to make these mistakes so I can point them out so you don’t do the same!  Overcast/neaten these seams as well.

Pic #9

10. Turn bag out to the right side and you are done! Pic #10

pic #10. No, you are not standing on your head! The first baggie I made had an oopsie! Have you ever done that? Finish a project and realize you sewed pieces together upside down? Maybe I’m the only silly one? Yes, well, there may or may not have been some choice words heard after I realized my mistake. Never mind…….opportunity to make another one which is pictured above with the pearls and one of the big shells in my collection.

As an aside: many charities are looking for baggies as they pack them with gifts and toiletries for Christmas and other purposes like victim relief and so on. Imagine being given a little baggie with soap, shampoo, toothpaste etc when you have been forced to flee your home due to fire evacuations? BC is currently on a State of Emergency due to our awful summer fires but I know other areas are similarly affected. I think I would want to cry with appreciation and relief if I was in that situation and someone gave me a little handmade baggie. Inquire in your area to see if there are any charities which could use little baggies you make. If I don’t do much embellishment on a baggie (like this one), it can be made in around 30 minutes so you can make many of these to make some person’s life a little easier. AND you can vary the size for all sorts of purposes.


I sure am! 

Posted in JANOME PROJECT IDEA | Tagged , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Summer and the CNE and PNE are over……now it is time for our Fall Sewing shows

Yes, the kids are back at school, summer is almost over and our Fall shows are upon us again……the first one THIS week in Edmonton/Sherwood Park, Alberta.

Then 2 weeks later we have the Calgary Show and then 3 weeks after that, we have the Creativ Festival in Toronto.

Creativ Festival West – Alberta shows: check out this link for all the details: dates, times, classes, vendors and more.

Creativ Festival in Mississauga/ Toronto: check out this link for more info. 

Will we see you at one or more of these shows? Janome will be there at all of them. Come and see how incredibly easily you can thread up with our brand new Air Thread 2000D serger!

Come visit us on the Janome booths; bring your questions and see all the new goodies we have to show you.


Posted in Creativ Festival, Creativ Festival West sewing shows | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

BACK TO SEWING Part 1 …….project idea to kick start your Fall sewing.

Regular style zipper bags and humbug bags. All these humbug bags were embellished with rows of machine decorative stitching in a variety of decorative threads before being trimmed & sewed up into the distinctive HUMBUG candy shape as well as the usual cosmetic baggie style.


Not sure about you, but I have long been a fan of making little baggies. (and some bigger baggies too as you will have seen in a recent post). I find they really don’t take up a lot of time which is always a scarce commodity in my life (and probably in yours too). They are practical and useful for my purposes + I like to keep a few to give as very appreciated gifts to family and friends. And they use up small pieces of fabric so are a great stash buster project. We all have bits of fabric left over from various quilting and sewing projects so this is a great way to use them up. Good use of smaller pieces of batting too.


I thought I would show you a few baggies I made recently where I “busted my stash” AND  had fun embellishing the baggies with scraps of ribbon and trim + decorative stitches. The sky is the limit when you get going on a creative roll.

And another good thing is that the fabric you use does not have to be the full size of the baggie. We are quilters after all so we can piece smaller pieces for a very pleasing pieced look.  And you can also piece the lining of the baggie if necessary.

This zipper baggie was made using a crazy patch style piecing using charm pack “left overs”. I stitched in the ditch on all the seams with decorative stitches to embellish like you would on a crazy quilt.

And this is the other side of the same baggie above.

OR simply do a flip & sew quilt-as-you-go technique so your piecing and quilting is done in ONE step. That is what I did with all of the black & white print baggies.

I particularly like the technique where you add little tabs to the ends of the zipper as the end result of the zipper insertion is so much neater and nicer. I use that technique on all my baggies now. See pic below.

Little yellow arrows show the tabs that are added to the ends of the zipper which neatens the baggie closure considerably.

Note how I layered 2 ribbons (one was sheer organdy ribbon and the other was satin ribbon) and did a dec. stitches over the top to secure them to the bag. It was super quick to do but adds a nice effect + some texture or dimension to the bag.

What about using your embroidery machine test stitch-outs? You do test stitch-outs, right? I had this one (below) and thought it would look really nice on a slightly larger baggie as I did not want to fold or cut the embroidery design.  What will I use this baggie for? Possibly when I travel it can be my little laundry bag for my underwear & socks? Or perhaps it can be a baggie in my bathroom cabinet holding things like hair bands or velcro rollers? Or perhaps it might be a gift for a friend with a sewing magazine or 2 popped inside?

We are launching 10 new machines this Fall……yes, you heard right TEN……and many of them could be used to have fabulous sewing time to make lots of pretty and practical little baggies.  I can hardly wait to get my hands on these new machines and make some more baggies!

Want to know how to make this baggie? Follow our step-by-step photo tutorial on Friday this week: 7th September in Back to Sewing Part 2

And here is a great tutorial from one of our Janome Canada artisans, Trina, which was published on janomelife a few years back. As you may not have seen this or possibly forgotten it, take a look! She shows us step by step how to make a vegan leather storage baggie. 

Subscribe to our janomelife blog if you are not already on our list. Just this week, as I write this post, I received a query  “My friend got an email about xyz but I did not. Why is that?” Well the answer to that is easy: she is not a follower or subscriber to janomelife. You will only get emails from us if you have signed up. And the email is just to alert you that we have published another janomelife post. You get such an email each time we publish a post with more information, hints, tips and advice about your favourite Janome products. You might want to sign up today so you don’t miss out on all our sewing fun this Fall! 

What have you got up your sleeve for Fall sewing?

Has this post with a bunch of variations on a simple project inspired you to get back to sewing?? We hope so. Let us know what you are planning to sew.


Posted in JANOME PROJECT IDEA | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Sew a Rug on the Janome HD 3000BE!

Perhaps you’ve seen the adorable Jelly Roll rugs popping up on social media and at your local quilt shops. The pattern is by Roma Lambson for RJ Designs and pays homage to those oval braided rugs our grandmothers made. This version, however, is faster and easier as it starts off using a Jelly Roll – 40 pre-cut 2.5 inch wide strips.


A second pattern has come along, Jelly Roll Rug 2 which is even faster and easier, so it’s one of the projects I chose to take on my recent quilting retreat.


I knew this project would be easy to do on my fabulous new Janome HD 3000BE since HD stands for Heavy Duty , and heavy duty sewing through lots of bulk (4 layers of fabric and 4 layers of batting) was indeed the name of the game.



Aside from looking OH so cool, sleek and modern, the Janome HD 3000BE is a formidable, sturdy machine, yet weights under 20 pounds. The hard protective case is included so this is an ideal machine to take along to classes, the cottage, or, in my case, a retreat. It’s completely mechanical; ie non-computerized, so it’s also a great machine for anyone new to sewing, or who’s intimidated by too many electronic buttons to push. The Janome HD 3000BE is a simple machine to use, but don’t confuse simple for basic. There’s a BIG bang for the buck here.

Instead of a Jelly Roll, I decided to cut 2.5 inch wide strips from my stash. Yes, as a few of my Facebook followers have commented, I did intentionally choose fabrics to coordinate with the machine. lol! When the machine is this sleek and dynamic, why not?! I thought this rug would be a great stash-busting project, too, yet it barely made a dent in it. I see more rugs in my future.

Complete instructions can be found in the pattern, but basically, layered on each strip of fabric is a 2.5 inch wide strip of batting, which I again cut from my stash.


As a longarm quilter for hire, I’m often left with long strips of batting cut off from around customer’s quilts so this was the perfect project for those scraps. You can buy pre-cut batting strips already on a roll, too, but I wanted to keep the cost of this project to a minimum. Other than the nominal cost of the pattern, I didn’t have to buy any additional supplies. You can either zig-zag the ends of your batting strips together on the machine, or as I chose, to use fusible batting tape which I already had on hand. Alternatively, you can cut your own from scraps of fusible interfacing.

This is also a great project to use up any bits of thread, especially if your strips are really scrappy. I used Janome’s Iris quilting thread, in red of course, to match the accent red of the machine. Red is my favourite colour anyway, so I use it whenever I can.


Again, detailed instructions are in the pattern. You sew your strips into tubes then zig-zag those tubes together to form the rug. Before the clever folks at RJ Designs came out with these patterns, who would have thought you could sew a rug on your sewing machine?! Sewing the tubes was another ideal opportunity to use my trusty Wonder Clips, by Clover. I use these ALL the time, and they were definitely easier to use at this step instead of pins.


You can see in the above photo that I used the Overedge Foot, one of the 8 presser feet included with the Janome HD 3000BE. Though I was only using a straight stitch, not overcasting to finish a raw edge, the Overedge Foot gave me the perfect 1/8 inch distance from the edge of my tube. I loved the versatility of this machine! There’s a little metal guide on the right side of the foot, so my stitching was uniform for each and every tube.

You can see how much fun those tubes can be as my friend, Moishe, is demonstrating. He thought they’d make a great wig, too. (He’s a hairstylist by profession, lol!)


As instructed in the pattern, you can sew your tubes with a 1/4 inch seam allowance instead of the 1/8 inch as I did. There’s a special 1/4 inch foot with guide, along with 3 other specialty presser feet included in the bonus Quilting Attachment Kit which is included with the Janome HD 3000BE.


Janome is famous for their presser feet, mainly because they’re so quick and easy to snap on and off. Less time adjusting and more time spent sewing! The Quilting Attachment Kit is also available separately so be sure to visit your local Janome dealer for more information.

Since I’m all about versatility and creativity; making things your own, I decided to mix up things a bit and switch out my thread colour while zig-zagging my strips together. This was an ideal time to use the vertical spool pin included with the Janome HD 3000BE. It saved a lot of time as I didn’t have to remove the spool of thread each time I changed colour.


I also decided to vary my stitches as I sewed the tubes together. There’s 18 stitches on the Janome HD 3000BE with adjustable stitch length and width, too, so again, lots of versatility for ultimate creativity.  The inside of the flip top lid lists all the stitches, settings and which presser foot to use there’s no guesswork. Janome thinks of everything!



The feather stitch is one of my all-time favourite stitches, so I used it most of the time in place of a regular zig-zag. It’s available on almost all Janome machines, too!


In case you were wondering, that little spongey square stuck to the right of the machine is NOT included as part of the machine, lol! It’s a cute and functional little Janome “Cling and Clean”, which just clings to the body of the machine without any adhesives. It’s designed to wipe off the fingerprints from computer screens of sewing machines, smart phones, tablets, etc. but I keep one handy on each machine to help wipe off the lint as well.


I certainly built-up some lint from all the sewing I did at the retreat, so my little “Cling and Clean” helped me keep the Janome HD 3000BE looking sleek and shiny throughout. As always, please visit your local Janome dealer for more information.

IMG_1073I’m SEW in love with my cute little rug! Another use I thought of, though, was as a mat for under my sewing machine, especially since this one coordinates sooooo well with the fabulous Janome HD 3000BE! lol!

IMG_1113 What will you create today with your Janome sewing machine?

Posted in Janome Sewing Machine | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments